Alnwick butcher Turnbull's celebrates two of its staff as part of National Apprentice Week

Turnbull’s of Alnwick are celebrating its two apprentice butchers, Chris McEwan and George Deverux-Tinely, as part of annual National Apprentice Week.
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Chris swapped the grill at McDonald's for the butcher's block at Turnbull's having already had some experience working fresh meat the counter at a supermarket, he wanted to advance his career and gain a proper qualification.

Chris, who is 35, is determined to showcase that apprenticeships are open to all age-groups.

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He said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with the team and being taught by some of the best in the Nort East is really class. The best part for me is seeing the whole process from start to finish, taking a whole carcass and turning it into the various cuts and producing oven ready dishes that are very popular here.”

Chris McEwan and George Deverux-Tinely.Chris McEwan and George Deverux-Tinely.
Chris McEwan and George Deverux-Tinely.

George stopped pulling pints and started dicing beef at Turnbull’s last year after giving up the hospitality trade in pursuit of a career with more sociable hours.

George, 25, added: “I was looking for the opportunity to learn a trade within the food industry and was getting tired of working late nights. When I saw that there was an opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship at Turnbull’s I jumped at the chance to apply.”

The pair will become a fully qualified butcher and develop skills such as knife skills, working on pork, lamb and beef whole carcasses, sausage, and burger production, as well as the importance health and safety in the workplace. They will be working alongside Turnbull’s experienced team of master butchers, both in Turnbull’s Food Hall and the cutting and processing unit.

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They will be given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become a fully qualified butcher and to develop skill sets that will allow them to become one of the country's best young apprentice butchers and to compete in national competitions.

Butchery apprenticeships have transformed in recent years, with the introduction of new apprenticeship based on recognised standards, raising the bar on training in the meat industry.

Turnbull’s are incredibly proud to offer training which is overseen by MEAT Ipswich, an independent body who provide resources and assessment programmes for Butchers across the UK.

A representative from MEAT Ipswich said: “Butchery apprenticeships have transformed in recent years, with the introduction of new apprenticeship based on ‘standards’ raising the bar on training in the meat industry. MEAT offers Certificates, Awards, and a full range of apprenticeships to butchers across the UK.”

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Turnbull’s would like to call upon other businesses, individuals, employers, training providers and communities to get involved with National Apprentice Week 2024 by encouraging everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help to provide #SkillsForLife.

Dan Turnbull, sixth generation Turnbull’s family custodian said: “We have been impressed with the way George and Chris have developed his skills as apprentice butchers and their

training providers, Meat Ipswich, have been a fantastic resource.”

For anyone considering a career in butchery, an apprenticeship may be a great opportunity to learn on the job and acquire the skills and training you need: